M.L. Simon

M.L. Simon

By Medical properties of marijuana

Medical properties of marijuana

This week’s topic is the medical properties of marijuana and its constituents.

But before we go into that, I’d like to discuss a related topic: the health benefits of hemp oil.

A recent article in the British medical journal The Lancet reported that diets high in salmon and/or mackerel and certain other oily fish tend to reduce the incidence of prostrate cancer. It turns out the oils deemed most protective are also found in hemp. So if you would like to take advantage of this research, you are not constrained to eat a lot of fish.

You can read more about fish oils here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_1362000/1362552.stm

Now on to medical marijuana.

Marijuana may be good for your ailing joints. In a survey of medical marijuana users in California, 14 percent were using marijuana for joint pains. Recent work at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has found by studying the non-psychoactive cannabidiols (CBDs) in hashish (concentrated marijuana ) that an acid derived from a CBD with the code name HU-320 has an activity comparable to the anti-inflammatory indomethacin without the considerable gastrointestinal side effects of the commercial drug. The Hebrew University plans to patent the drug.

Another study on mice in France showed that CBDs actually suppressed the progression of the joint disease. CBDs in this study were found to suppress the release of tumor necrosis factor (TNF). This is important not only because it affects joint diseases but also because TNF is an important factor in cancer.

J. Michael Walker, professor of neuroscience at Brown University, says that “… cannabinoid compounds apparently reduce swelling from inflammation, but more than that, they kill the pain from inflammation specifically.”

One of the authors of the Hebrew University studies on CBDs, Raphael Mechoulam, says that human studies have shown that marijuana prevents brain damage from head injuries and may hold promise for multiple sclerosis, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, Tourette’s syndrome and even Parkinson’s disease.

Mechoulam believes the irrational legal status of marijuana has slowed medical research on what could be one of the single most valuable medical plants on the planet.

The governor of Illinois is not a proponent of medical marijuana. It’s time to change his mind. He can be contacted at: 217-782-0244 or governor@state.il.us. Or you can go here for the governor’s mailing address, fax number, etc. http://sites.netscape.net/ejpagel/freeej. And while you are at it, tell the governor to free E.J.

My prior columns can be read at http://www.rockrivertimes.com

M. L. Simon is an industrial controls designer and Libertarian activist.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!